Sharing Christ in SE Asia

Recently I was in SE Asia on a short trip and during the course of our travel, we learned the train was derailed. We need to get back to our hotel from the village where we were staying and so we took a vehicle that was a cross between a four wheeler and a mini-truck. I was on the back of the vehicle jammed in between strangers. At 6’4″ I need a lot of room and while I was riding along uncomfortably, my translator suggests that now would be a good time to share the gospel. And so I did.

It was a real joy to share the message of Jesus’ love with people who had rarely if ever heard the story of the gospel. I wish I would share more often.

Sam Houston’s Baptism – Deuteronomy 15-16

Read Deuteronomy 15-16

Giving to God is a common issue that believers struggle with regularly. Moses gives us instructions on what and how we should give to God. Giving is an important component in our growth as believers in Christ.

In the previous chapter, God tells the people to give a tithe. “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year 23 And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.” (14:22-23). Tithe means tenth and where we can give to God through money, ancient Israel was an agricultural economy. They gave a tenth of their crops.

In today’s reading, we learn something else about our gifts to God: “But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God” (15:21). Both in giving God a tenth and in giving Him our best, Moses is teaching us the importance of regular giving to God as a vital part of our growth in Christ (see also 26:1-19).

Sam Houston (1793–1863) was an American statesman and military commander who led the fight for Texas independence from Mexico and later its admission into the United States. The city of Houston is named in his honor. He was led to Christ by George W. Baines, the great-grandfather of President Lyndon Johnson. After his conversion, Houston “was a changed man, no longer coarse and belligerent, but peaceful and content.” Those who knew him were very surprised when he was baptized. After his baptism, he offered to pay half of the local minister’s salary.

“When someone asked him why, he said, ‘My pocketbook was baptized too.’” Yes, giving is a good sign that a person has truly been converted.[i]

[i] Randy Alcorn, Money, Posessions, and Eternity (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2003), 173